Consider Mentoring

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Consider Mentoring

Consider Mentoring—It can make a Difference. Most of us, if we think back far enough, can reflect on moments we’ve had with a mentor and how their mentoring affected us. While reflecting on the past year and beginning the process of setting goals for the new year I find myself reminded of my humble beginnings and the people who helped me along my path. Recently, I remembered one person in particular. I owe him a debt of gratitude for the wisdom he gave me and an apology for not seeing the value at the time. 

My Mentor

Back in 1991 my father worked at a company that he was fond of and still is to this day. The owner of the company treated the employees with respect and cultivated their skills. I remember my father telling me to talk to the owner of the company. But, as I had already made the decision to embark out on my own and was not seeking employment I did not see any value in taking time out to meet with the owner. After my father’s persistent insisting that I go meet with this owner I finally agreed. 

 

Usually people prepare before going into a meeting. They have questions ready and responses prepared for questions received. I did not. This one was different because I went in there with the attitude that there was nothing to gain from talking to this guy. This meeting was only about appeasing my father’s wishes. I admit to not remembering much of what I may have said in this meeting as it was an awkward encounter for me at the time. I do remember that as I sat there, this gentleman captivated me with the advice he was giving. To this day I attribute my early success and the way I have fashioned my company to this wise man’s sage advice.

Reflections On Mentoring | Present Day

Today, embattled in the day to day operations of running a business, I treasure more and more the gift my mentor gave me. This gift was not physical but is the most valuable thing one person can give another: Time. As we get older we learn that time is precious, we savor it like a fine wine. For a gentleman I barely knew to give of his time just to talk to some kid about starting a business was priceless. This gift of time will be a debt I can never pay back. However, I will continue to make payments by making time for anyone who may need an ear or some humble advice.

 

Always be mindful, listen, and make time for those in need. Only the wisdom of years has made me realize how valuable and precious our time is. To this day, I am unaware if my mentor knows the influence he had on me with just his time. I find it so gratifying when you think over the years how one kind act—no matter how small—can make an impact on another person. I have to thank my father for reminding me of this meeting—and for being the one to get me there in the first place. Also a thank you—albeit a late one—to my mentor, without whose advice I would not be where I am today. 

 

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